Telemedicine and Rural Health Care Applications

J Postgrad Med. Oct-Dec 2005;51(4):286-93.

Abstract

Telemedicine has the potential to help facilitate the delivery of health services to rural areas. In the right circumstances, telemedicine may also be useful for the delivery of education and teaching programmes and the facilitation of administrative meetings. In this paper reference is made to a variety of telemedicine applications in Australia and other countries including telepaediatrics, home telehealth, critical care telemedicine for new born babies, telemedicine in developing countries, health screening via e-mail, and teleradiology. These applications represent some of the broad range of telemedicine applications possible. An overriding imperative is to focus on the clinical problem first with careful consideration given to the significant organisational changes which are associated with the introduction of a new service or alternative method of service delivery. For telemedicine to be effective it is also important that all sites involved are adequately resourced in terms of staff, equipment, telecommunications, technical support and training. In addition, there are a number of logistical factors which are important when considering the development of a telemedicine service including site selection, clinician empowerment, telemedicine management, technological requirements, user training, telemedicine evaluation, and information sharing through publication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Humans
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Rural Population
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration